Why are we striking?
For higher wages in line with rising inflation, and for the eventual abolishment of the NSW Public Sector’s wages cap. For more information see psa.asn.au/thepublicsectorneedsapayrise
Why is this important?
Since 2011, the NSW public sector have had their wages increase capped to 2.5 per cent per annum based on legislation introduced by the O’Farrell Government. With inflation rising, and currently sitting at 5.1 per cent per annum this has essentially meant a real wage pay decrease over the past decade.
The COVID-19 crisis has put Public Sector workers under immense amounts of stress over the past two years. Despite this, the State Government attempted to freeze Public Sector wages in 2020, and the Industrial Relations Commission only awarded us a paltry 0.3 per cent increase. In 2021 we were awarded the full 2.5 per cent increase allowed under the wage cap, but this included a 0.5 per cent increase for superannuation, and pales in the face of the Consumer Price Index increasing to 5.1 per cent in March this year.
The choice to take industrial action has not been taken lightly by the PSA. The Premier has repeatedly ignored the PSA’s requests to meet with representatives, and a meeting with the Minister of Employee Relations on Wednesday was met with a vague request to ‘wait and see’ until the budget is handed down. The show of collective strength that comes through taking industrial action tells the Government that we will no longer be ignored, nor will we put up with an unfair and arbitrary wage cap while we are doing the hard work of serving the community across the public sector.
What is a strike?
A strike is a withdrawal of your labour from your place of work. The strike this week is a 24-hour stop work action lasting from midnight to midnight on Wednesday 8 June. Striking means that you do not go to your place of work or participate in your usual employee activities for that day.
Can I get in trouble for going on strike?
Not if you are a PSA member. You are striking at the direction of the PSA, and any consequences for striking fall on the PSA, not on individuals who strike. You cannot be disciplined for taking industrial action in your union’s name.
What if I am not a member?
If you are not a member, you are not protected if you go on strike next Wednesday. This is because the PSA is taking industrial action, and PSA members are going on strike in the name of the PSA. If you are a non-member, you are striking in your own name, and do not have the legal protections that being a member of the union affords you.
If I join now will I be protected?
Yes! If you join the PSA any time before Wednesday, you will be afforded protection for taking industrial action by the union.
If I go on strike, will I be paid?
No, you will not be paid for the time you are on strike.
I can’t afford to miss a day of pay. How else can I support the Day of Action?
Although we encourage all PSA members to join in on the collective show of strength that comes with a strike, we understand that this is not financially feasible for some members. Luckily, there are many ways you can show your support:
- Take a half day of work, or just come to the rally from 10:00am-11:45am (more on that below)
- Take a photo of yourself wearing a campaign t-shirt, a badge, or holding a message of support, and send it to us for the PSA communications team using the #PSApayrise2022 and #Championsofthestate hashtags
- Put the poster up in your office
- Talk to your friends and family about this campaign and why it is so important
- Sign the petition!
Can I take annual leave or flex to cover my day on strike?
As the strike has been publicly announced by the PSA, Premier & Cabinet and Finance will be aware that there is industrial action happening this Wednesday. If you submit a leave request in the next few days leading up to the strike, it may be interpreted as taking industrial action, and you may not get paid for the day.
Do I need to tell my manager that I’m going on strike? What’s the best way to do so?
You can send your direct manager an email letting them know ‘I will be taking industrial action on Wednesday the 8 June at the direction of the PSA’. As above, management across the public sector will be made aware that industrial action is taking place this week, so an unexplained leave of absence on the day will be taken as participation in the strike.
About the rally
Is there a rally?
Yes! The main PSA rally will start at Hyde Park North at 10:00am, march to Parliament House at 11:00am, and disband around 11:45am.
I am unable to walk all the way to Parliament. Can I meet you at Parliament House at 11:00am?
Yes, you can!
What should I wear?
Wear a campaign t-shirt, otherwise wear a white shirt or t-shirt with a campaign badge or sticker (these will be available at Hyde Park). There will be a limited number of campaign t-shirts at Hyde Park on the day, (it’s first come, first served).
Will the PSA have placards?
The PSA will. However, members are encouraged to make their own placards – either print off the campaign poster and turn it into a sign, or create your own!